So, if you were at a work meeting, and someone mentioned having just discovered Buddhism, how would you act? Or, if a friend of yours in the office confided, loudly enough to be overheard, that she just taken up a Hindu meditation practice? Or, how about all those colleagues I sometimes hear talking about a shared experience at church? What’s the proper office protocol?
Granted, the office really isn’t the place for religious discussion, but if we’re being honest, from time to time it does happen. And, if we’re all going to be tolerant of one another, ideally it shouldn’t really matter if it does. That said, I think if you encountered any of these situations above, as a rational human being, you are going to greet the person with respect. You might even be a little curious! You definitely wouldn’t laugh. That would be exceedingly rude.
Imagine my surprise when I encountered the following situation in a training class at work today…
There’s this middle-aged woman in my class, and I don’t know how they got started on the topic, but somebody asked her if she was Catholic. And she said, “actually no, if I’m anything these days I feel like I’m mostly Wiccan.” Which I thought was a lovely thing for her to say, and very honest too! And the girl sitting behind her burst out laughing. And I mean she really laughed.
It seems to me that most other religions would expect a little more respect. It also seems to me that my religion deserves every bit as much respect as anyone else’s. It’s hard not to react negatively in that type of situation. But I suppose I have to understand, it might just come down to cluelessness.😤
Perhaps there’s a way to gently educate my coworker? I haven’t said anything yet.